'Happy day': Toronto gospel choir helps Vin Diesel's dream come true
Vin Diesel sings with the Sharon Riley and Faith Chorale in this screengrab of a video posted online. (Facebook / Trinity Lewis)
Karolyn Coorsh, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, April 6, 2016 1:35PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 8, 2016 12:17PM EDT
A Toronto-based gospel choir got a taste of show business Hollywood-style this week when they performed at a film shoot for an upcoming action flick starring Samuel L. Jackson and Vin Diesel.
Sharon Riley and the Faith Chorale, a 13-member choir based in the Greater Toronto Area, was selected to be featured in the action film “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage,” which is currently being shot in Toronto.
The Juno-Award winning choir shot their scene at a downtown Toronto church on Tuesday. What they didn’t know ahead of time was that they would be singing with Diesel, too.
During a production break, Diesel mentioned that it was his dream to sing with a choir. In a video posted online by a choir member, the actor is seen flanked by vocalists dressed in violet choir robes.
“I just wanted to say that a dream of mine always, has been to have the confidence to sing in a choir,” the tattooed actor says. “Although my grandmother would take me to the choir every weekend, I never had that little bit of confidence to get up there and sing.”
The choir then indulges Diesel, singing a rousing version of “Oh Happy Day” with the actor’s voice in the lead.
Lloyd Lawrence, the choir’s manager, told CTVNews.ca that it was an “awesome” film shoot.
“It was a very professional and loving atmosphere, so it was cool,” Lawrence said.
It’s not the first time the choir has been featured on film. The choir can be seen performing in “Blues Brothers 2000,” a sequel to 1980’s “Blues Brothers” starring Dan Aykroyd.
According to IMDb.com, “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” is scheduled for a 2017 release.